Second Chronicles 29–31 is the story of a king who stood in the gap of faithlessness and disobedience for the people of God at a crucial moment in history. King Hezekiah was a man who believed God on behalf of his people, whose faith and radical “all-in” obedience preserved his nation from disaster. His faith precipitated a national revival, and shows us five marks of any awakening.
1. Awakening happens when God’s people clean out the junk from their lives (2 Chr 29:3-5).
“In the first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah re-opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and said: ‘Listen to me, Levites! Remove all defilement from the sanctuary’” (2 Chr 29:3–5). Hezekiah started this revival with himself, the priests, and the house of worship. This wasn’t an accident: revival always begins in the house of God.
We often think the problem is somewhere out there. “They” are the problem, whoever “they” happen to be. Hollywood is too immoral; the media is too liberal; professors are too cynical; millenials are too rebellious. Sure, the world is sinful. But their sin isn’t keeping God from pouring out his blessing. Sin in the church is. What prevents awakening in a community is a community of Christians that harbors secret bitterness, anger, and infidelity. Nothing drives out the presence of the Holy Spirit like unconfessed sin in the church. Revival and awakening always begin when God’s people get serious about their sin.